How To Watch Extreme Solar Flare
Geege Schuman stashed this in Science Too
An X-Class solar flare — the most dangerous kind — erupted from the sun toward Earth today at 1:46 p.m. EDT from Active Region 2158.
It's still unclear whether and to what extent the flare will affect power grids, satellites, or radio transmissions on Earth. But whether it wreaks havoc or not, it will be stunning to behold.
But either way, tomorrow we will be able to see the flare in action, live on the Internet. The Slooh Space Telescope will be transmitting video of the sun from Prescott, Arizona, beginning on Thursday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. EDT.
"What solar experts fear most," Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said in a statement, "is a recurrence of the huge Coronal Mass Ejection events of 1921 and 1859."
Officials at NOAA's Space Weather Center think this flare may have created a CME, but can't be sure yet or be sure how strong it may be. CMEs are the blast of plasma fired off by very active flares. They can trigger geomagnetic storms on Earth two to three days after erupting from the sun, according to Space.com. They also create spectacular aurora.
As well as watching the solar flare in real time, viewers can ask questions of Slooh's astronomers on Twitter, using the hashtag #Sloohflare, during the broadcast. Watch the livestream here, starting at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 11. Here's a full list of times to watch around the world.
Should we really be watching this?